Peters & Peters

ASA ruling on Ryanair ‘low emissions’ adverts


Key facts:

The ASA gave a ruling on 5 February 2020 in relation to Ryanair press, TV and radio adverts dating from September 2019 that included claims about Ryanair being “Europe’s… lowest emissions airline”, having the “lowest carbon emissions of any major airline” and/or having “low CO2 emissions”. The complaint made was that flying was not a ‘low emissions’ activity and the claims were also misleading and unsubstantiated.

The ASA considered that consumers would understand that air travel was not low emissions in absolute terms, but that they would be entitled to think that by choosing to travel with Ryanair, their journey would be contributing lower CO2 emissions than if they had chosen to travel with any other European airline. The ASA found that key aspects of Ryanair’s calculations behind the claims were not properly disclosed and so the basis of the comparison was insufficiently clear. It also found that the evidence provided was insufficient to demonstrate that Ryanair was the lowest carbon-emitting airline based on the stated used metric of grams of CO2 per passenger-kilometre (i.e. every passenger flown one kilometre).

The ASA ruled that the adverts must not appear again in their current forms, and that, when making environmental claims, Ryanair should ensure it has adequate evidence to substantiate such claims and to make the basis for any such claims clear.


ASA ruling

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